Liverpool NY 2nd Annual Arbor Day Celebration

As part of the Village of Liverpool’s 2019 Arbor Day celebration, elementary students wrote and performed skits about trees.

Thank you to the Village of Liverpool and Deputy Mayor Christina Fadden (Fitch) for forwarding this terrific account and photos of their 2019 celebration, funded by a NYSUFC grant. Fadden says, “The grant funds were a great encouragement, and we also now stand on the cusp of finally being designated a Tree City USA. Thank you to the NYS Urban Forestry Council for your support of our efforts and program.”

Location of the Village of Liverpool, in Onondaga County, greater Syracuse.

On Friday May 3rd, 2019, the Village of Liverpool celebrated its 2nd Annual Arbor Day Celebration at Liverpool Elementary School. At 9:00 a.m., an assembly of approximately 280 students, teachers and staff gathered in the school cafeteria. Village of Liverpool Tree Advisory Committee members Lisa Ballantyne, Yvette Hewitt, Diane Recor and Adam Woodburn joined Mayor of the Village of Liverpool Gary White, DEC Senior Forester Matthew Swayze, and Officer Sean Pierce in attendance.

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Partnerships, Fruit Trees, and Land Restoration in the Peruvian Amazon, with James Kaechele

In his capacity as Arborist for the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, James Kaechele demonstrated how to properly plant a limón sutil tree (Citrus aurantifolia) to a community in the Peruvian Amazon.

All Photos Courtesy James Kaechele & Fruit Tree Planting Foundation

What skills does an urban forester use when planting trees on disturbed land along an Amazon River tributary? “All of them,” says New York Tree Trust Director and Council Executive Committee Member James Kaechele. In early December, 2019, Kaechele, also a consulting arborist for the Pittsburgh-based international charity Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF), went with a team of staff and volunteers to the Loreta Region of Peru to plant 6,000 fruit trees in five Amazon River communities.

“As urban foresters, our job is equal parts plants and people,” Kaechele says. “We’re uniquely positioned to coordinate both the arboricultural and human aspects of a project like this. The land-use questions are the same; the site assessment process is the same; tree planting techniques are the same; you have to address any concerns people have—for example, the worry that some have about whether a tree will fall on their house—it’s the same skills that I use in the work I do with street trees and residents in NYC.” Furthermore, the land along the Amazon River is often severely degraded and in need of restoration, just like in the tree beds, parks, and natural areas of NYC—just degraded for different reasons.

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Green Teens Club Produces Phenomenal Tree ID Guide

The Council received an email from Tyler of Green Teens Club, a national club creating online green resources and doing acts of service in communities. “We are made up of high school student volunteers, but parents and siblings often join in to help out on our projects,” Tyler says. “Teens from anywhere in the country can join Green Teens. We aren’t affiliated with any one school, but I believe some schools honor our volunteer hours for service hour requirement credit. We are funded by contributions from the families of volunteers.”

Green Teens created a superb, scientifically sound, and visually snappy Tree Identification Guide. You could not ask for a better introduction to Tree ID principles and terminology.

Green Teens are affiliated with Tree Musketeers, whose website has a series of guides in the same pleasing format on subjects ranging from birdwatching to photosynthesis to getting a forestry degree online.

ReLeaf 2019 in Pictures: Part II

Young people shone extra bright at the 2019 ReLeaf Conference, injecting energy and enthusiasm into the gathering.

After Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC) Director Greg Michel presented about the OEC mission and programming, OEC youth spoke about their experiences. Pictured here, Onondaga Earth Corps Crew Leader Tajuddin (Taj) shared from the heart about his connection to nature and concerns for the environment.
Young Adult Crew Member Jahkella is new to Onondaga Earth Corps and spoke about what she hopes to learn this season.

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ReLeaf 2019 in Pictures: Part I

Thank you, NYSDEC staff and Region 3 ReLeaf volunteers, for your hard work putting together a superb ReLeaf Conference.

Recent SUNY ESF grads Amandy Cruty (left) and Nafisa Tabassum are working as urban forestry technicians this summer with Syracuse City Arborist Steve Harris. They attended ReLeaf 2019 in the Hudson Valley, at Mount Saint Mary College.
Council Executive Secretary Liana Gooding (far right) addresses the Council Board just before the start of the conference. On average, 34 members serve on the Board and come from all nine DEC Regions of New York State.
SUNY ESF alum Lew Cutler came from Syracuse and retired doctor Kathy Gaffney came from Long Island to attend ReLeaf 2019. The conference theme was “Urban Forestry in a Rapidly Changing World,” referring in large part to the intersections of urban forestry and climate change.
Gloria Van Duyne is the NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator and facilitated and presented at ReLeaf 2019. She and her team worked with Region 3 volunteers to put on the conference.

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Village of Cassadaga & Lily Dale Assembly’s First Arbor Day Celebration

Cassadaga and Lily Dale residents planting a ‘Red Sunset’ red maple (Acer rubrum) at Cassadaga ball fields. Cassadaga and Lily Dale are located about an hour southwest of Buffalo.

An Arbor Day grant of $1000 and instruction from Council Board Member Lori Brockelbank helped the Village of Cassadaga (pop. ~610) and Assembly of Lily Dale (pop. ~275) celebrate their first Arbor Day on Saturday May 18, 2019.

The family-friendly event started at the Cassadaga Library with crafts for kids, free saplings, refreshments, and Lori’s presentation. Among other things, she covered the benefits of trees; Right Plant, Right Place; tree planting and aftercare; and dealing with deer, beaver, and salt. She also talked about job opportunities in the urban forestry field, which piqued the interest of Cassadaga Job Corps youth. The group then headed out to plant trees.

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Getting to Know Onondaga Earth Corps Director Greg Michel

Greg Michel (at left) went with a team of Onondaga Earth Corps staff and advanced crew members–Nick, Amanda, Taveon, and Tyrell–to the 2018 Partners in Urban Forestry Conference in Irvine, California.

Over the years, Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC) and the Council have partnered in various fruitful ways. OEC Director Greg Michel (pron. “Michael”) recently joined the Council Board; we wanted to get to know him and OEC better. A Council Blog post about the work of OEC can be seen here.

Greg Michel was born in Boston, then raised in Houston for a decade before his family moved to upstate NY when he was 12. He spent a gap year between high school and college in Japan as a Rotary Exchange Student, establishing an abiding interest in Japanese culture. After high school he attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio where he majored in International Studies with a regional focus on Japan and wrote his undergraduate thesis on “The Role of Japanese Identity in Cross-Cultural Communication.”

Michel then went to Tokyo Gakugei University to study International and Environmental Education at the graduate level, writing his thesis on “Impact of Global Connections on Place-Based Environmental Education,” and earning his master’s degree in 2001. 

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Habitats for Bats: 2019 Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest

The winning 2019 Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest winner will depict the theme, “Habitats for Bats.” Entries are due December 21, 2018. Full contest rules along with lesson plans for teachers can be found here.

According to NYSDEC, most bats eat a variety of things including flying insects, fruit, nectar, and small animals. New York State is home to nine species of bats. Six species are cave bats, which hibernate in caves during the winter but live in a variety of places during the summer, including trees. Three species are tree bats that live year-round in trees. DEC produced a terrific brochure about these nine species that might prove helpful to the fifth grade artists.

 

North Collins Celebrates First-Ever Arbor Day

North Collins kindergartners helped heel in the swamp white trees planted on Arbor Day 2018, the town’s first AD celebration. Photos Courtesy Town of North Collins

With the help of a grant from the Council, the Town of North Collins (pop. approx 3600) in Erie County celebrated its first-ever Arbor Day on April 27. Kindergartners read tree tributes and helped plant two swamp white oaks (Quercus bicolor) in the Marion J. Fricano Town Park at the future Veterans Tribute site. North Collins Town Supervisor John Tobia spoke at the event about the origins of Arbor Day.

Location of North Collins in Erie County in New York State.

In addition to kindergartners and their teachers, the event was attended by Town Board Councilwoman Ellen Mathis, Town Clerk Lynn DiVencenzo, the Veterans Tribute Committee, and Town Forestry Committee Chair Wes Awald, whom Tobia thanked for his special effort getting this Arbor Day celebration organized. 

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